Development of assisted reproduction technology (ART) and therefore availability of embryos in in vitro conditions has made genetic diagnosis of the embryos prior to implantation possible, enabling couples to avoid termination of pregnancy after routine prenatal diagnosis. Now, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can improve IVF efficiency by preselection of euploid embryos for transfer, and has become an integral part of assisted reproduction.
The idea of preimplantation genetic diagnosis goes back to 1967 when Edwards and Gardner succeeded in sexing rabbit embryos at the blastocyst stage. The medical society waited until 1989 to use similar technology in humans for the avoidance of genetic diseases. In 1989, Hanyside and his colleagues implemented PGD for sex determination of embryos because of an X-linked disease. The indications for performing this technique soon widened and gradually more ART centers offered this service to their patients. to date, over 10000 PGD cycles have been performed worldwide with more than 1500 healthy births. The PGD technique has a great value for those countries, which according to their religious and ideological laws have banned abortion.
Royan Institute started its PGD program in 2003 and since that time, PGD services have been offered to infertile patients in cases such as failed ART, age factor, idiopathic abortions, structural chromosomal aberrations in couples and family balancing (with strict rules). Now PGD for single gene defects is also being performed, particularly for beta thalassemia. The PGD Department at Royan Institute is a pioneer in this field in Iran. Our department also offers PGD services to other infertility clinics.